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Christine Lampe

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Agile Portfolios in a Connected World

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As students transition from college or university to career, the orientation of their portfolios changes from meeting internal course or institutional goals to evidencing competencies for employment and professional development. At
this stage an independent, accessible and dynamic portfolio system is needed.

An ‘agile portfolio’ approach addresses these needs using social media, web repositories and web tools or Apps to create a flexible, multimodal system. Agile portfolios are accessible on the web and on mobile devices, as well as on paper. A range of different tools can be used to produce agile portfolios, but the key components are a profile, a repository and a visual presentation or display.

In this article the agile portfolio model is presented and a number of tools are suggested. An agility checklist is presented to enable evaluation of existing portfolios or tools under consideration.

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Evaluating Institutional ePortfolio Options: A Process-Driven Approach

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Portfolios can increase learning engagement and continuity between courses, as well as providing evidence of competencies for career development. An institutionally supported ePortfolio system can promote a consistent and transparent process for learners and enable more collaborative development among faculty. It can supply rich data to inform programme development, and evidence of competencies for accreditation. In selecting ePortfolio platforms and tools, care must be taken to ensure that the technologies offer sufficient usability; flexibility in the management and presentation of content; integration with existing technologies; and access to the portfolio for graduates entering the workforce. In this article several key aspects of ePortfolios are highlighted that should be considered in developing an institutional ePortfolio process. A model rubric is identiἀed that could support evaluation of portfolios beyond the programme level. Finally, technical aspects of ePortfolio systems and tools are explored, and possible approaches are suggested.

Virtual Worlds

Promise and Pitfalls

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Even as virtual worlds recover from their ride on the ‘hype cycle’, they have become more accessible to the average computer user than ever before. Developments in technologies that support these worlds have enhanced their value for supporting communication, collaboration and experiential learning. However, the educational promise of these worlds continues to be balanced by their limitations. Creating an identity and learning the physical and cultural rules of a virtual world requires an investment of time, money and a certain amount of trust that participation is worth the effort. Most critically, the more open the world, the more likely it is to expose participants to inappropriate content and interactions. On the other hand, virtual worlds are a precursor of the more immersive online environments forecast for the near future; engaging with them now will give educators a head start on supporting the next generation of learners.

Evolving Portfolios

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Electronic portfolios can be an effective tool in a learning environment, but are still not established practice in many contexts. The authors investigate barriers to adoption and describe their own experience to illustrate how portfolios can evolve. Recommendations are provided for effective implementation of a new portfolio process.